The who’s who of American cooking will convene tonight at a black-tie gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago for the James Beard Awards and among them are Best Chef: Southeast finalist Rodney Scott and Outstanding Wine Program finalist FIG.

This is Scott’s first time on the list. He’s nominated for his Charleston Rodney Scott’s BBQ which he opened last year. He joins finalists Mashama Bailey of Savannah’s The Grey, Katie Button for Asheville’s Nightbell, Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman of Hog & Hominy in Memphis, and Cassidee Dabney the executive chef at Blackberry Farm. Scott is the first pitmaster to be nominated for Best Chef: Southeast, but not the first pitmaster to make the finals. That designation belongs to pitmaster Aaron Franklin of Franklin’s Barbecue who took home the prize for Best Chef: Southwest in 2015.

FIG marks its fifth time as a finalist in the Outstanding Wine Program category and faces off against a.o.c. (Los Angeles), Bacchanal (New Orleans), Benu (San Francisco), and The Little Nell (Aspen, Colo.).

The Beard Foundation held its media awards on April 27 where Post and Courier‘s Chief Food Editor and Critic Hanna Raskin was up for two awards — the Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award and for Local Impact Reporting. She didn’t win either, however, she did win the latter at last year’s ceremony.

The award ceremony can be streamed tonight on Twitter beginning at 7 p.m. EST. View the full list of finalists at
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